Economists who spoke to the 300 executives who attended at the Greater Baltimore Committee’s annual Economic Outlook Conference on October 20 offered some doses of hopefulness for the recovery, but diluted it with a number of serious cautionary caveats.
A stock market index that is inching upward and a recent increase in consumer confidence are sources of hopefulness. But cautionary economic issues include high unemployment levels that are expected to continue in 2011, potential “tax headwinds” as governments grapple with deficits and record levels of debt, and uncertainty about post-election government policy.
Economic presenters at the conference were Kevin A. McCreadie, president and chief information officer, PNC Capital Advisors; and Hugo J. “Hugh” Warns III, senior vice president and director of research for Stifel Nicolaus.
“People are starting to feel more confident because of the fact the some indicators are returning to pre-crisis levels,” McCreadie said. But holding on to those gains “is going to be difficult,” he added.
Conference attendees also heard a call to action from two experts on the need to step up the level of cyber security in the business sector and to develop much larger and knowledgeable cyber security workforce.
Cyber security presenters were Lieutenant General (Ret.) Harry D. Raduege, Jr., chairman of the Deloitte Center for Cyber Innovation, and Karl Gumtow, CEO of CyberPoint International.